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Topic of the week

German company GEPA: “spearheading fair trade”

The biggest fair trade firm in Europe, domiciled in Wuppertal in Germany, is delighted with another good business year: in 2016 the Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Partnerschaft mit der Dritten Welt mbH (GEPA) – The Fair Trade Company - recorded growth of around 7 percent and achieved turnover of 74 million euros. With the appointment of Peter Schaumberger the company is headed by two managing directors, with Schaumberger becoming the brand and distribution manager. He intends to increase the proportion of organics in the product range and concentrate his attention on sustainability and climate change. The company also involves itself in world economic and development policy issues.

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Topical Reports / Most recent reports

BioFach review: exhibition halls full – exhibitors delighted

Again a  record number of visitors and a sharp increase in the number of exhibitors. NürnbergMesse, represented by Petra Wolf and Danila Brunner, was absolutely delighted with the four days of  BioFach and Vivaness. Danila Brunner said that in order to provide even better facilities for exhibitors and visitors Halls 4A and 8 as well will be made available next year. On the last day of the fair you could also hear the positive views of many exhibitors expressing positive opinions about the trade fair.

by Karin Heinze (comments: 0)

Biofach 2017: Building an Organic Future

Germany is Country of the Year at BioFach 2017. Under the motto “Building an Organic Future” the Ministry of Agriculture is going to present, among other things, its Future Strategy for Organic Farming and the host country will introduce “Organic as a knowledge-based and values-based economic system” to the anticipated 48,000 visitors from all over the world. Over 2,700 exhibitors and a comprehensive Congress programme will once again be the platform to present everything that's new and innovative, concepts and ideas, and figures and analysis around both the international organic sector and the organic movement. So that you can prepare, here's our report with some ideas.

by Karin Heinze (comments: 0)

Vivaness: the event for natural beauty professionals

The natural and organic cosmetics industry is booming and has enjoyed continuous growth in popularity across the globe for many years now. The demand for products is high all over the world and the market is characterised by dynamic progress. Germany is the leading market in Europe natural and organic cosmetics. Vivaness, the International Trade Fair for Natural Personal Care, which takes place from 15 to 18 February at the Exhibition Centre Nuremberg is the place where trends and innovations are presented by roughly 250 international exhibitors. The stage programme and the Vivaness congress complete the event and makes it a meeting place for the cosmetics sector.  

by Karin Heinze (comments: 1)

Topical Reports / exclusive for subscribers

Share price falls: KTG Agrar facing insolvency

The listed agro-company KTG Agrar SE, one of the biggest growers of organic products, finds itself in a dramatic financial crisis. It was not able to pay the interest on a loan on time and many investors are already afraid the company is going bankrupt. As a consequemce, the share and bond prices of KTG Agrar have plunged. However, CEO Siegfried Hofreiter  assumes that they can get the situation under control.

by Leo Frühschütz (comments: 0)

Bitter aftertaste: Oxfam study of pineapple and banana cropping

Conventional tropical fruit for German supermarkets is being produced under horrifying ecological and social conditions.This is the picture presented by the development organisation Oxfam in a report dealing with pineapple production in Costa Rica and banana production in Ecuador. Criticism is also directed at the Rainforest Alliance that certified several of the plantations under investigation.

by Leo Frühschütz (comments: 0)

"Alnatura is a social experiment"

Bees are buzzing and frogs are croaking in the grounds of the nature-based headquarters of Alnatura in Bickenbach (Hesse). And in the building belonging to one of the biggest organic companies in Germany there is much activity too. This where the  “working partnership“ develops ideas for new brand products, a 3D online shop and concepts for the store of the future. Founder Götz Rehn sees this collective activity as an “experiment on the way to a  social-organic model company“. 

by Karin Heinze (comments: 0)

US organic market achieves new record high

In 2015, the market for organic products in the United States reached a new peak of  US$43.3bn (€39.6bn). This figure was revealed in an investigation by the Organic Trade Association (OTA), the US American manufacturers' association that carried out the study in collaboration with the Nutrition Business Journal in the first quarter of 2016.

by Kai Kreuzer (comments: 0)

10th IFOAM EU Organic Congress - all links

Find the links to all articles from the 10th IFOAM EU Organic Congress at one place. Click here and you as a IFOAM EU member will get free access to all articles for 3 months.

by Editor (comments: 0)

Interview: "Only genuine progress justifies new organic legislation"

The trilogue between the European negotiating partners, Commission, Agriculture Committee and Parliament engaged in the revision of the EU organic regulation is entering the decisive round. It does not appear possible to adhere to the target of getting the organic legislation off the ground by the end of June. Although the trilogue is taking place behind closed doors, Bund Ökologische Lebensmittelwirtschaft (BÖLW), representing the interests of the organic industry in Germany, is being kept informed about the stage reached in the negotiations in Brussels.

by Karin Heinze (comments: 0)

Conventional food is considerably more expensive than organic food

For a long time the organic industry has been having a discussion about so-called externalized costs. But far from all consumers are aware of the fact that the low price of food is achieved at a cost because of the chemicals used in agriculture, factory farming and the severe consequences for the environment. Or they put it to the back of their minds. It’s high time to tell people the truth. This is the reason why Volkert Engelsman, head of the Dutch organic company Eosta, has launched the information campaign “The True Cost of Food”. Organic supermarkets have started to promote the campaign. The background and a video interview with Volkert Engelsman.

by Karin Heinze (comments: 0)

What happens when EU states approve glyphosate again

The European parliament submitted a compromise proposal for extending the authorisation of the controversial herbicide glyphosate and voted with a big majority for certain conditions and an extension of only seven instead of fifteen years. This proposal is, however, not legally binding.The fact that the decision was postponed was a morale-booster for many people who oppose pesticides. Our author Leo Frühschütz spoke with Heike Moldenhauer, the expert in genetic engineering at the German Organisation for Environment and Nature Protection (BUND), about the chances of still being able to prevent a renewal of the authorisation of glyphosate.

by Leo Frühschütz (comments: 0)

EU vote: German minister can ban glyphosate

It is likely that on 18 or 19 May the EU member states will vote on whether and under what conditions to approve the renewal of authorisation of glyphosate. An open letter calls on the German Minister of Agriculture, Christian Schmidt, to vote against approval and thus to prevent further authorisation of glyphosate. The European Commission now wants to restrict the renewal of authorisation to 10 years. In its proposal at the beginning of March renewal was for 15 years. The Dutch Council Presidency had called for a reduction of five years, the Greens asked for a complete ban.

by Karin Heinze (comments: 0)

Challenges and opportunities to developing organic farming under a new organic regulation

Is the new EU Organic Regulation negotiated until June? Where are still sticking points? That was the topic on the second day of the IFOAM EU congress in the Netherlands. The 200 participants from 27 EU countries listened intently what the negotiators from Brussels brought up in the discussion. There are still some open issues, but the Dutch have indicated their objective of concluding the trialogue between the Commission, Council and Parliament, and to bring the new regulation by the end of its EU presidency on the way. With video documentation on BioMarktInfo Youtube.

by Karin Heinze (comments: 0)

IFOAM EU Congress: how to transform the agri-food system

In his welcome note for the 10th IFOAM EU European Organic Congress in Driebergen, Netherlands, re-elected IFOAM EU President Christopher Stopes emphasized that this event would contain a high level of interaction with more than 200 participants. The goal was to look at different models to reach the vision and make Organic 3.0 concrete. Watch the video with statements of several stakeholders.

by Karin Heinze (comments: 0)

EU organic controls: quite good on paper, but...

In principle and on paper organic controls in the EU work quite well. However, in practice there is still a lot that could be improved in many countries. This is the conclusion we can draw from three reports presented by the Food and Veterinary Office (FVO) of the EU that have summarised the results of a large number of audits carried out by the staff of the FVO from 2012 to 2014.

by Leo Frühschütz (comments: 0)

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